Butternut Squash Fritters With Mango-Lime Sauce

Last night I went to a Pot Luck. Pot Lucks are great for two main reasons: 1) you usually get to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while and 2) there is a LOT of great food. Being able to taste and test many different types of food is one of my favourite ways to eat. This is why I like Tapas so much. When cooking for a Pot Luck, you have to keep in mind that a lot of people are going to be sharing whatever you bring. This is why salads, casseroles, dips, meatballs, crab cakes, etc. are all good ideas. This time, I decided to make fritters. After googling for different fritter ideas, I came across one by Bobby Flay (one of my most favourite chefs!). His version was Calabaza Fritters With Mango-Sour Orange Sauce. Well… it became apparent that Calabaza does not exist in Halifax after my Dad ran around to numerous grocery stores. Luckily, Bobby suggests Butternut Squash as a substitute for Calabaza, and lime as a substitute for sour oranges, which we could not find either. I also made some simple changes to the base of the sauce, because, frankly, I was not really a fan. It was too spicy and didn’t quite have the texture I was looking for. Instead, I made it a little bit more sweet, rich, and creamy… being sure to keep the mango-lime flavour and some of the spiciness intact. All in all, I think it complemented the fritters quite well. I would suggest also pairing the fritters with a dollop of sour cream, in addition to the mango-lime sauce. The combination was unbeatable. To see Bobby’s version, click here. For my slightly altered version, see below! (Note, if you are making this for a group of people, I would suggest doubling the recipe, or perhaps even tripling it).

Ingredients:

Fritters:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup seltzer (club soda)
  • 1/2 finely chopped Spanish onion
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash, blanched
  • Oil, for frying
Sauce:
  • 1 mango, flesh pureed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons mayo or miracle whip
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
To make the fritters: Peel and dice butternut squash and blanch until soft. While butternut squash is cooking, mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add in egg and seltzer. Fold in chopped onions and blanched squash (when ready). Heat a thick layer of oil in a high-sided pan until sizzling. (If you have an oil thermometer, heat to about 350 F). To test the heat with no thermometer, drop a small amount of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and puffs up, your oil is hot enough. Drop batter into the oil in heaping tablespoons. Cook for about 1.5- 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove fritters from oil with a slotted spoon, and set on a plate covered in paper towel. This will allow excess oil to drip off. Repeat this process until batter is gone. In my pan, I did about 6-7 fritters at a time. Note that I made the batter the night before and fried them up right before the pot luck. This worked fine, and the batter was still intact after sitting in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight. If you need to reheat the fritters, just pop them in the oven for a few minutes until warm. Heating them up in the microwave may result in a very sad, soggy fritter.
For the sauce: Puree the mango and mix with all other ingredients in a bowl. Serve as a dipping sauce alongside some sour cream. If each bite has a smear of both sauces, you’re golden!
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